Thursday, November 7, 2013

Warm, Wet, and Windy on the Quaboag

This morning I journeyed to West Brookfield to paddle another section of the Quaboag River.  I launched from the rest area off of Rt. 67 near its intersection with Rt. 9.  A substantial amount of fishing related trash was found in the muddy weeds at water's edge.  There were 21 bait tubs and lids along with half pint plastic bottles etc.  My rear hatch was full before I'd even left the beach. 
Once launched I found very shallow conditions but there was just enough depth to allow a visit to nearby Wickaboag Pond's outlet/dam...
In the area just below the outlet I found an old "Squeeze" soda bottle which I believe dates to the 1930's and a small cobalt blue medicine bottle...both in good shape.
After returning to the Quaboag, I headed downriver to where Naultaug Brook enters and paddled a short distance to the railroad bridge, arriving just in time for a CSX freight train...
This train consisted of new automobiles and was eastbound.  Another eastbound freight followed about an hour later and consisted of shipping containers.  Both trains were moving right along.
A little ways beyond Sullivan Brook the river became even shallower (opening photo) and I turned around near a location that may have once been known as "Crabtree Ford".  At today's water levels a person could easily walk across the river there without wetting their knees.
Once back at Rt. 67 I headed upriver and to the east.  Near Coys Brook I came across this odd looking structure in the middle of the river...
 A duck blind perhaps?
Saw quite a few ducks today, both mallards and wood ducks.  Today's weather was much to their liking!
Coys Brook is shown as Massequockummis on the old Plan of Shattoockquis Land map dating to 1665 and is said to mean "the little marshy meadow".  Shattoockquis was the Quaboag sachem who sold land in the area to European settlers.
Back at the takeout my trash haul huddled...
There were 61 recyclable containers (15 redeemable) and 42 pieces of miscellaneous rubbish such as plastic bags, Styrofoam, nip bottles, and the bait tubs.  YTD = 5664
I wonder what Shattoockquis would think today. 

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